Beachcombers, campers, and snorkeling snowbirds love Paamul (pronounced pah-mool), a crescent-shaped lagoon 21 km (13 miles) south of Playa del Carmen with clear, placid waters sheltered by a coral reef. Shells, sand dollars, and even glass beads—some from the sunken, 18th-century Spanish galleon Mantanceros, which lies off nearby Akumal—wash up onto the sandy parts of the beach. (There's a sandy path into deeper water in front of the restaurant—on
the rocks, watch out for sea urchins.) Sea turtles hatch here in June through September and July. If you'd like to stay on this piece of paradise, Hotel and Cabanas Paamul is a laid-back option. Amenities: food and drink; toilets. Best for: snorkeling; swimming; walking.
Paamul Bay, Carretera 307 Cancun–Chetumal, Km 85, between Xcaret and Puerto Aventuras, Paamul, Quintana Roo, Mexico