Punta Bete and Playa Xcalacoco
It used to be that the only way to find Punta Bete and its main beach, Playa Xcalacoco, was to look for the big Cristal water plant. That’s still the best landmark, but a flurry of new construction, and renovation of existing locations, has prompted hoteliers to finally add signs along the highway as well.
The beach here is decent—the sand is clean but coarse, and the shoreline rocky in places—but the snorkeling is good, and the isolation has always been a big plus.
It’s still a quiet place, but all the new development—including a huge condo complex—may mark a new chapter for this long-overlooked stretch of beach.
Hotel Petit Lafitte (Hwy. 307 Km. 296, tel. 984/877-4000, www.petitlafitte.com, US$225–375 s/d with a/c) offers the comfort of a full-scale hotel on this isolated stretch of beach, including a large pool, plenty of poolside lounge space, and a well-maintained beach area with palapas and hammocks. Accommodations are either in the main building, where all the rooms have at least partial ocean views, or in spacious beachfront bungalows with lofts. All accommodations have one or two beds, cable TV, air-conditioning, minibar, and Wi-Fi. Rates include a full breakfast and dinner for two.
Owned by a Mexican-Swiss couple, Coco’s Cabañas (Hwy. 307 Km. 296, tel. 998/874-7056, www.cocoscabanas.com, US$75 s/d, US$85–95 s/d with a/c) has a handful of charming palapa-roof bungalows on a small garden plot. The cabañas are comfortable and clean, with palapa roofs, private bathrooms, and patios with hammocks. There’s a heart-shaped pool next to the open-air restaurant and bar, and the beach is just 30 meters (100 feet) away. Breakfast is included in the rate.
Coco’s Cabañas (Hwy. 307 Km. 296, tel. 998/874-7056, www.cocoscabanas.com, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. daily, US$5–18) has a small outdoor bar and restaurant that specializes in wood-oven pizzas, though there are lots of seafood dishes as well. It’s a bit pricey for the location, but then again you don’t often see prosciutto, arugula, and Brie pizza in these parts.
Getting to Punta Bete and Playa Xcalacoco
From the highway, follow the access road two kilometers (1.2 miles) until it forks at the Tides Riviera Maya resort. Bear left to reach the listed hotels and beach.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition