Quintana Roo, Riviera Maya, Mexico
An elegant and tranquil beach club at Riviera Maya, with lots of activities on offer.
Maroma Point is the southernmost part of Maroma Beach. It is situated at km 55.3 on the Cancún – Tulum highway.
There are lots of great public beaches on the Riviera Maya. Some have services like restaurants and bars, and some don’t. Finding them is also easy; you just need to know where to look! Although all beaches in Quintana Roo are federal property and therefore public, the access is often via private property. In this case it is the Riviera Maya Beach Club (Maroma Adventures).
Upon entering the beach road, off Cancún highway 307, there is a manned gate. You will be charged 200 pesos and given a wristband. After about a two-minute drive you will arrive at the beach club car park. There is a large palapa as the entry to the resort. The staff are always around in this area, taking the guests to the beach. The entry fee is high but you can use a palapa with tables and chairs, as well as beach chairs, showers and bathrooms. You will find similar rental prices in Playa del Carmen, where the beaches are packed with crowds, unlike in Maroma.
As for the beach, it has pretty turquoise waters and powdery soft sand, which never gets hot (because it is coral) so you can walk barefoot. There are a few piers for the boats taking guests for snorkelling tours and a few palapa huts along the beach, serving as massage parlours. Along with the piers, these wooden houses with their thatched roofs just add a romantic feel to the beach.
The beach club offers very comprehensive activities: kayaking, snorkelling (on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System), deep-sea fishing, sailing, windsurfing, ATV jungle tours, swimming with dolphins in the pool (I won't name the price as I don't promote torture of animals). There are also camelback riding tours (not sure that it is smart to bring them here from their native environment either). There are plenty of deckchairs for the beach club clients. This beach is popular with middle-class locals; they come here for a weekend meal and rest on the beach. They always like to sit in the shade, hence the palapas with tables and chairs being so popular.
For meals you can opt for a buffet lunch at the Coco Tales restaurant (300 pesos per person) or order à la carte. Or you can order from a pizzeria which is outside, under the palapa. You can even observe how they make it.
The beach club is right next to El Dorado hotel, which recently built overwater bungalows here. Near the bungalows there is an artificial island, built to protect them and the beach from the currents. There are also protective bladders around the bungalows and the island.
I have been here a few times and the sea was always simply stunning. On my last visit (in April 2018) there was a lot of seaweed (well, it was everywhere else along the Riviera Maya coast) but the waters around the island were clean, because of the protective bladders. On that day, it was probably the only clean beach in Riviera Maya (clear of seaweed, I mean).
I also love this beach for the walks it offers. It is pretty long and if you walk north, past the last pier with the boats, you will find that part of the beach deserted. No wonder it is called Playa Virgen (Virgin Beach). There is some old hotel complex there in the jungle but it is abandoned and no longer in use. There are a lot of palms along the shore, clearly planted by the resort, which makes the beach really pretty. Beyond the palms the beach is fringed with tropical jungle. There is also a volleyball court here. If you walk as far as the bend of the bay, you will be able to peep into the next one. That is still Maroma beach, with three hotels: Catalonia Playa Maroma, Secrets Maroma and Belmond Maroma Resort and Spa. You can walk there but you can't use the hotel facilities.
The area around Punta Maroma beach has always been inhabited by the Maya. I was unable to find its original Maya name. As for the current name, Maroma means 'rope' but also a 'somersault' in Mexican Spanish. I can't see any reference point for this name relating to the place.
After the conquest of Yucatán by the Spaniards, most of the native population died from smallpox, which had been brought by the Spanish sailors. Up until modern times most of the landscape remained untouched well into the 1970s, with just a coconut plantation to the west of the beach. There was nothing but thick jungle between the highway and the coast. The only way to reach this area was by boat.
Sadly, sometimes the beaches of Riviera Maya get a lot of seaweed. Rain overnight can bring it in or take it away. The Beach Club is clearing the seaweed and stores it away from the beach as it turns into sand within a year and strengthens the shore.
In 1976 Jose Luis Moreno, an architect working in Cancun's hotel district, flew a small plane over Punta Maroma. When Moreno looked down, he fell in love with the gorgeous white sand and turquoise sea. He purchased the plantation and continued to cultivate the coconuts and sold their oil to factories throughout Mexico. In the 1990s he built Maroma hotel here. Today the two bays of Maroma have a few hotel resorts but luckily the beach club Maroma Adventures enables the public to access the beach. Do give it a try!
How to get there:
On highway 307, there is a sign for the Maroma resort. Turn off the highway, by a large souvenir shop (orange building). Once you pass the shop building, you will see the arched gate to Maroma resort.
Mix and match:
A visit to Playa del Carmen after the beach hours, to stroll on 5th Avenue, the pedestrian zone. Or a game of golf before the beach house, at the nearby Grand Coral Riviera Maya golf course.