An Insider’s Guide to Puerto Aventuras Beaches
Table of Contents
- 1 An Insider’s Guide to Puerto Aventuras Beaches
- 2 Caleta Chac Hal Al
- 3 Bahia Chan Yu Yum
- 4 Fatima Bay Puerto Aventuras
- 5 Explore Other Riviera Maya Beaches
When most people think of Puerto Aventuras, their mind immediately goes to the marinas that are the trademark of this coastal Mexican Caribbean village. But before the marinas and canals were created, this master-planned community was conceived around three existing bays, Caleta Chac Hal Al, Bahia Chan Yu Yum and Fatima Bay.
Because people generally associate Puerto Aventuras with world-class sport fishing and luxury yachts, Puerto Aventuras beaches may be the best-kept secret on the Riviera Maya. Let us show you why!
Caleta Chac Hal Al
Chac Hal Al is the southernmost inlet in Puerto Aventuras and the least accessible. Here you will find a primarily rocky coastline and a small ruin site. There is no beach to speak of and most of the access points have been blocked by private development in Phase 4.
If you walk down Puerto Aventuras boulevard, nearly to the end, you will find a small palapa that marks the entrance to a path. If you take this path, you will go through the mangrove forest, past the cenote (watch for crocodiles) and eventually reach the coastline. It’s a pretty place to walk to and explore but not an ideal spot for sunning or swimming.
Bahia Chan Yu Yum
Chan Yu Yum is the northernmost bay and where you will find the Catalonia resorts. Although the hotels have taken up much of the beach space with loungers and day beds. These are meant for the use of hotel guests only but this beach area is public and visitors are welcome to enjoy it.
You can access the Chan Yu Yum beach from the road that encircles the Kantenah Lagoon. Just before the bridge, there is a set of wooden steps leading down to the public beach area. The entrance is marked with a sign but if you are driving by you may miss it.
The beach area here is small but the Catalonia staff keep it well maintained so it’s an option especially if you are living or staying on Kantenah Lagoon. Also, if you are staying elsewhere in Puerto Aventuras and want water access to the lagoon, this is a good place to get your paddle board or kayak in and out so you can explore and enjoy the lagoon area.
Depending on the day and the surf conditions, this Chan Yu Yum provides some very nice snorkeling. Inside the main made breakwater is a protected bay that provides shelter to many varieties of fish and other marine life.
Outside the barriers, if the conditions are very calm, you can see even more but you must consider the currents. Swimming with a group or a partner is a must even for experienced snorkelers.
Fatima Bay Puerto Aventuras
Fatima Bay is the main bay and features the nicest beach in Puerto Aventuras. The beach here is often referred to as Playa Aventuras and is considered the main beach area for the resort community. This sandy strip of natural coastline is 1.5 kilometers long and stretches between the two man-made access channels to the inner marinas.
The northern end of Fatima Bay is rocky and water entry is not recommended from this end. Walk a few hundred meters down the shoreline and the sandy beach starts to open up just in front of the Chac Hal Al condominiums.
The Chac Hal Al complex has its own raised beach area with palapas and loungers which is protected from erosion by a man-made beach wall. This is for the use of Chac Hal Al owners and guests only. However, the beach below is open to use by anyone and is generally empty.
Just past the Chac Hal Al property, there is a grove of palm trees close to the beach. The shaded area there makes a great place to set out your beach chairs and towels for the day if you do not plan to take advantage of the beach club services.
Puerto Aventuras Beach Club
Following the curve of the coastline will bring you to the front of the Puerto Aventuras Beach Club & Hotel. Here you will find palapas, loungers and day beds for the use of hotel guests. The beach club also offers kayak and paddleboard rentals so you can get out and explore the whole bay.
This is also the beach club for residents and guests staying in Puerto Aventuras on holiday. Residents and guests with a PA Passport ID card have use of the pool area, restrooms and the loungers on the beach.
The beach club offers full food and beverage service right on the beach. In addition to some standard beach bar fare and pizza, the menu has a nice selection of sushi! The PA passport also gives a 20% discount on all food and beverages.
People living in or visiting other areas of the Riviera Maya are welcome to purchase a day pass that affords use of the loungers and beach palapas as well as the pool area, swim-up bar and restrooms. Day beds are limited and must be arranged in advance. Special charges will apply. The cost of the day pass goes toward your food and beverage consumption and considering all the amenities that a day-pass offers, it’s a very nice beach club option.
Fatima Bay – Playa Aventuras
Just past the PA Beach Club is a long wide stretch of beach that runs in front of Villas del Mar I. This is probably the best part of the beach and is often referred to as Playa Aventuras. Even during sargassum season, the condominium complexes make every effort to keep this beach pristine for their owners and guests. As the beach is public, other residents and guests are welcome to use it as well.
The sand here is soft and white and the water is warm and crystal clear. The water entry is sandy and you can walk in several meters before the water level reaches your waist. The artificial breakwater just offshore keeps the water calm and clean and as such, this stretch of beach is very popular for families with small children.
This is a lovely spot for a beach day however, you will need to bring your beach umbrella as there are no coconut palms here to offer shade. Also, keep in mind that there are no public restroom facilities or garbage bins. You must take out whatever you bring in.
Continuing south, you will traverse the narrow stretch of beach in front of Ocean Homes, Quinta del Mar, Quinta del Sol and Villas del Mar II until the beach opens up again in front of a line of stately beachfront properties. Some of these homes are private residences. Some are used as vacation rentals.
The beach at the end of Fatima Bay is wide and sandy. From here you can swim, watch the antics on the party boats that tie up in the cove or enjoy a game of beach volleyball. There is plenty of space near the shore to lay out your blankets and beach chairs and spend a few hours swimming or snorkeling in the bay.
Just remember, there are no bathroom facilities so your visit may be short. Also, there are no garbage bins so please take everything with you when you go. Another thing to keep in mind is that during the sargassum season, this section of Playa Aventuras is hit the hardest and is to be avoided.
Puerto Aventuras Snorkeling
On days when the seas are calm, Fatima Bay is a wonderful place to kayak, paddle board and snorkel. The artificial barriers that have been placed in the bay to prevent erosion have created a nice ecosystem for many marine crustaceans and small tropical fish.
Snorkel out past the swimming areas and the sandy bottom transforms into a shallow reef with rocks and coral providing a safe haven for all kinds of marine life. You may see groups of iridescent squid and schools of fish who call Fatima Bay home.
Although this area is well inside the bounds of the Mesoamerican Reef, you will find rays, eels, crabs, lobster and conch in these shallow protected waters. If you are very lucky, you may share the water with a marine turtle or a spotted eagle ray!
The large rock barrier that encircles the cove is also a thriving ecosystem and on a calm day, you can get in close and see all kinds of marine life.
Fatima Bay is closed to all motorized boat traffic including jet skis however, occasionally a wave-runner will travel into the shallow waters of the bay, so if you are an avid snorkeler, it’s a very good idea to invest in a brightly-colored, inflatable swim buoy or life vest.
You will see the groups of open-water swimmers using the buoys when they train in the bay. The buoys offer increased visibility and can act as a life-saving device in the event of an emergency.
The beach in Puerto Aventuras does not have lifeguards so this is something to consider.
Swim buoys are also recommended for snorkelers especially if you are exploring further out in the bay or close to the reef. In the event that a watercraft mistakenly enters the bay or you drift out of the protected area, this will ensure that you are visible to any vessel that might be passing close by.
Surfing in Fatima Bay
When people think of Puerto Aventuras, surfing is not generally the first thing that comes to mind. In reality, PA has a very passionate surf community! When the wind kicks up, and the surf is high, the north end of the bay will be flooded with surfers of all ages all hoping to catch the perfect wave for a long ride into shore.
This is not an ideal time to be swimming or snorkeling outside the boundary of the artificial reef but the Nohoch tribe sure loves it! You know the surf is up when the streets and sidewalks in PA are teaming with boys and girls in board shorts all making their way to “the cut” with their boards in tow.
The Nohoch Surf Club is one of the most popular activities for children living in Puerto Aventuras and the surrounding area but they also offer lessons for adults as well as equipment rentals. They have short boards, longboards and even paddle boards for the calm days in the bay. If you are keen to surf and the conditions are right, these are the guys to hook you up with a board.
Are the beaches in Puerto Aventuras pet friendly?
The beaches in Puerto Aventuras are not pet-friendly and there are signs posted to remind residents and guests to leave their four-footed friends at home. Although you can certainly find pet-friendly beach clubs that will allow you to bring in your dog, by law, animals are forbidden on the public beaches in the state of Quintana Roo.
That being said, very early in the mornings, on Fatima Bay, you can find people walking their dogs or enjoying a game of fetch in the water. Although it is not allowed, for the most part, security seems to turn a blind eye to this activity at this time of day. Likewise, around sunset, when the beach club has pulled up its loungers for the night, you will find people going for a stroll with their pets without much fuss or interference.
Is it allowed? No.
Does it happen anyway? Yes.
Have you discovered the secret of Puerto Aventuras beaches?
Because few vacationers coming to the Riviera Maya know about the beaches of Puerto Aventuras, you will feel like you have the shore of the Caribbean all to yourself.
Puerto Aventuras beaches are some of the most family-friendly beaches in the Riviera Maya. Families will particularly appreciate the tranquility and lack of crowds on these beaches which provide a natural playground for children.
With its shallow waters, gentle surf and the great amenities available at the PA Beach Club, everyone from small children to seniors can enjoy the beaches of Puerto Aventuras.
Explore Other Riviera Maya Beaches
Once you have fully explored the beaches inside the Puerto Aventuras resort area, you may want to investigate some of the other Riviera Maya Beaches.
Some of the Riviera Maya beaches near Puerto Aventuras include Paamul, Xpu Ha and Akumal. Each of these beaches is different and offers different features and amenities.
To find the best one for you, check out our ultimate guide to Riviera Maya Beach Clubs in and around Puerto Aventuras.
Then, tell us which one YOU like best and why! Leave us a comment below!