Riviera Maya

Between the Chemuyil and Xel-Há exits is a tiny sign on the east side of the highway marking the short dirt road that leads to the two arching bays Xcacel and Xcacelito. This is one of the loveliest and cleanest beaches along the Riviera Maya. You'll find good snorkeling here (bring your own gear) and, most notably, Quintana Roo’s most important loggerhead and white sea-turtle nesting site.

About 500m south of the parking area, there’s a gorgeous cenote (access was closed at last visit), while the northern edge of the beach has a protected coastal reef perfect for snorkeling. Food, drinks and the use of sunblock are prohibited on this protected beach. It's possible to help with turtle conservation here from May to October. The one-month volunteer program includes room and board at an oceanside facility. For more information, see Flora, Fauna y Cultura's Spanish-language website.

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