This is where our walks start from, the foot of 38th Street, a couple blocks from where we are staying.
Walking for just over an hour to the North we did not need shoes at all. There were several areas of rocky beaches that would be dangerous to swim in without shoes, but plenty of nice white powder stuff to walk on until you find a nice swimming beach. (Cause it is hot and you need to cool down on a 2 hour walk)
We walked past a Paradisus resort, which did not have much of a swimmable beach at all, but it was
definitely away from all crowds. http://www.paradisuslaperla.com/
A little further along we found a wonderful sandy beach, walking into the water for a swim was perfect, no rocks, just warm water and gentle waves. Also a very large sandy area to lay out on in front of a very new condo resort called Marealazul. It looks very nice, check it out here http://www.gcoral.com/mareazul.php?gclid=CNCX7MC74LQCFUWnPAod9TMAyQ
The next day we found an even better beach when we walked in the other direction from our condo, past the Mamitas, and Kool beach bars, we often just lay out in front of the Royal Resort, the beaches are all fine here, but very crowded. There is an old pier next, and all the resorts to the south of that have a weird beach, man made, with sandbags under the sand, like concrete to walk on in places. The swimming area is a sandbar out past the fish boats, doesn't look appealing at all to me.
Next, in the photo above is a big row of condos and beach bars, very little beach to lay on and a slanted area to walk, swimming is also out there on that sandbar, I wouldn't want to stay at El Taj or El Faro cause the beach is lousy.( did I mention the smell around here......rotten eggs?) So we keep walking past the ferry dock that takes you to Cozumel and what a pleasant surprise............
Now this nice flat beach is in front of condos, Xaman Ha and PlayaCar Place. Playacar is the upscale area of Playa Del Carmen, it is gated, and has a golf course and many gorgeous looking houses. The beach here is not crowded, there are no beach bars or anywhere to rent a chair. (which is too bad, but I guess that is why it is not crowded) It took us about 40 mins to walk here on the sand, probably less if we went by road. This Beach reminds me of the beautiful beaches we saw in the Bahamas and Antigua, we will definitely make the walk back as often as possible.
I did look up the condos on this beach to see what the prices were like, and of course they are over $250 a night, and the Xaman Ha is really old and run down looking, old A/C that would be very noisy, I wouldn't recommend that one. There are many of these beach front homes too, wouldn't that be nice? Yes, way too pricey! The last 3 days here have been very windy as well, so going to the beach means you are always covered in the fine sand, ( it is always blowing on you). So maybe being beach front would not be all that great, there is no sand blasting us on our nice rooftop deck! (only a short walk from the beach and less than half the cost of beach front) Maybe we will just be happy with what we have!
The search for a great fish restaurant continues.....................................