Chemuyil It was the last paradise that was left in Riviera Maya. A place that the locals kept quiet about for us, with that silent commitment to conserve corners away from tourism. The Chemuyil cenotes, the magnificent beach and the town were a local treasure.

When we came to live in Riviera Maya in 2007, we were immediately browsing and enjoying the area, being Chemuyil one of those authentic little towns in the area that we met thanks to a dear friend. The excuse was the Leo restaurant-pizzeria, which continues to offer its famous lobster pizza (only in season, the season is closed from March 1 to June 30). One of those picturesque places that we curious travelers and eager for alternative routes like. A getaway to tourism and an ideal place to go with friends who came to visit.

This is how we met Chemuyil, but there is much more.

chemuyil riviera maya

WHERE IS CHEMUYIL AND CHAN CHEMUYIL

The town of Chemuyil is located 20 kilometers from Tulum and 37 km from Playa del Carmen. The entrance to the town is perfectly indicated on Federal Highway 307, which runs parallel to the Caribbean coast from Cancun through Tulum and to Belize.

There are two towns, Chemuyil and Chan Chemuyil. The latter has developed over the years thanks to the community of foreigners, most of them Americans, who spend part of the year in Mexico. It is a common occurrence for American and Canadian migrants who come 6 months a year. This type of tourism happens both on the Caribbean coast and on the Yucatecan coast near Mérida. When you visit you will see that there is a lot of foreign resident.

This picturesque little town in the interior is known for its magnificent beach and its cenotes, it also has good options for eating.

Chemuyil Riviera Maya alternative

HOW TO GO TO CHEMUYIL BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Chemuyil is 24 kilometers from Tulum and 40 from Playa del Carmen. The entrance is well indicated from the federal 307. If you go by own car you will find it between Akumal and Xel-Há.

Public transportation drops you off on Federal Highway 307, at the town entrance bridge. From here you walk less than 1 km to the town. The ADO (big bus) does not stop in Chemuyil, you must go in combi.

HOW TO GO TO CHEMUYIL FROM TULUM BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT

From Tulum the combis depart from the main street, in front of the ADO bus station. The price per person is about 20 pesos. The driver tells you where to get off.

HOW TO GO TO CHEMUYIL FROM PLAYA DEL CARMEN BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT

In Playa del Carmen the combis stop is located on Calle 2, between Avenida 15 and 20. There are two bus companies, almost facing each other. The cost is about 30 pesos per person. The driver tells you where to get off if you ask him to.

HOW TO GO TO CHEMUYIL FROM CANCÚN BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT

If you go from Cancun, the buses leave near the ADO terminal. There is no direct to Chemuyil, so you must get off at the last stop in Playa del Carmen and from here take another bus to the entrance to the town. The driver tells you where to get off if you ask him to.

WHERE TO EAT IN CHEMUYIL

  • PIZZA LEO: classic Chemuyil restaurant with its iconic lobster pizza (lobster only in season).
  • LA PALAPA: tasty food and good seafood and fish dishes. We really like it too.

There are several more local restaurants that we don't know personally.

Chemuyil restaurant

WHERE TO SLEEP, HOTELS IN CHEMUYIL

As in other towns on the Caribbean coast, Chemuyil has developed different accommodations to accommodate less conventional tourism. You will find from gampling to rental houses, apartments and charming hotels. We went to visit a few, so we give you a slight idea of ​​what's there.

It is an excellent option to experience the Mayan Riviera from a quieter and more natural place.

DISCOVER THE CENOTES CHEMUYIL

A great surprise in Chemuyil are its cenotes. They are not as well known for that reason they are not as visited as Dos Ojos, Gran Cenote, Cristalino, Casa Cenote or many others in the Riviera Maya area, so prepare yourself for good surprises. Personally, we like to go to cenotes that are little visited, and although in Riviera Maya it is somewhat difficult, there are always exceptions.

CENOTE XUNAAN-HÁ

The best known and best indicated cenote in Chemuyil It is the Xunaan-Há cenote. It is the largest in the area as well. They have toilets, showers and changing tables. It is a nice open cenote where you can enjoy the mask in the background and the entrances to caves. One of the well-known agencies that operate in the Riviera Maya uses it on their daily tours. It is when it is more crowded with tourists, then it is calmer.

  • TIMETABLE AND SERVICES: from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. They have parking, toilets, showers and zip lines.
  • CENOTE XUNAAN-HÁ PRICE: 80 pesos per person
CENOTE XUNAAN HA CHEMUYIL

THE ONLY FREE CENOTE IN RIVIERA MAYA

Surprisingly, in a place as touristy as the Riviera Maya, there is still at least one free cenote. A beautiful semi-cave cenote where you can enjoy the crystal clear water, the lights, the cave and the natural environment. It is not managed by anyone, it has no services. Be responsible and follow the basic rules for preserving these treasures. If this will to respect is not in you, you better stay at home.

It has no name that we know of. It is indicated but must be searched. If you are someone who likes adventure a little, you will surely find it. This way we do not make it so easy and only those who have the most desire will find it.

  • HOURS AND SERVICES: There are no hours but there are some rules to follow that you see at the entrance, the municipal police can pass.
  • CENOTE CHEMUYIL PRICE: free 😲
chemuyil cenote

LOCAL AGENCY CENOTES CHEMUYIL

There are 2 other cenotes in the area that I don't know about. There is a local agency that has developed good cenote circuits in the area and makes tours of up to 4 cenotes in Chemuyil. Two of them are the previous ones, the other two are surprises. I leave you how to contact this youth cooperative in Chemuyil Bejil-Ha. You can take a bike tour or walk through the cenotes of Chemuyil.

I have never taken a tour with Bejil-Há, but a couple of friends have spoken highly of them to me, so I recommend them.

cenotes chemuyil
Photo by Behil Ja

CHEMUYIL BEACH

Chemuyil beach It was a local secret, one of those you don't say much about because on such a touristy coast, having places to escape always goes well. Furthermore, the place is idyllic, like some of the crescent beaches that we are lucky to enjoy in the Mexican Caribbean, such as Paamul, Xcacel or Soliman.

Chemuyil Beach has another incredible natural attraction, and that is that turtles arrive in the spawning season. Even this small paradise was reached on foot from the neighboring beach of Xcacel. About 15 minutes along the coast heading north and you were at Chemuyil and Chemuliyito beach.

Unfortunately, the present of Chemuyil is very different, that is why it cannot be on the list of our best beaches in Riviera Maya. The reality is that the business machinery in Riviera Maya is unstoppable and reaches every corner of the Mexican Caribbean thing. In 2019 the splendid Chemuyil beach, natural paradise and turtle sanctuary, was purchased by the Mexican company of Grupo Posadas to make a new hotel.

Our 8 Riviera Maya beaches Favorite

Grupo Posadas is a company dedicated to the hospitality sector. In 2019, a controversial development began in Chemuyil that has led to making artificial sand beaches to expand the area and sink concrete structures in the sea to protect the bay from waves. If as users we had more awareness these hotels would be discarded by many.

Various ecological entities and civil movements such as Grupo Ecologista del Mayab, Moce Yax Cuxtal, Red Tulum Sostenible or Defenders of wildlife have tried to protect the bay. In 2020 they manage to build due to the pandemic that affects the covid-19, but the story will undoubtedly continue. They will build more than 800 rooms, that is the plan.

I write it and sadness floods me, the human being we have no limits.

Chemuyil beach posadas group
Photo by Reportur

Be sure to visit Chemuyil, it is a very charming place. I know we end this bad taste in the mouth of Chemuyil beach. How it hurts, a lot. We are in a very touristy area, but we can do things more or less aggressively, more or less respectfully. Taking care of the environment depends on us. So let's start with ourselves, remember to respect places.

Discover the Chemuyil cenotes, a hidden paradise of Riviera Maya 1

If you are one of those looking for an alternative tourism in the Mayan Riviera, Chemuyil is undoubtedly your place. Enjoy the Mexican Caribbean coast, as you can see there is a corner for each style.

Discover the Chemuyil cenotes, a hidden paradise of Riviera Maya 2

Chemuyil, cenotes and beach

CHEMUYIL LOCATION:the town of Chemuyil is located 20 kilometers from Tulum and 37 km from Playa del Carmen. The entrance to the town is perfectly indicated on federal highway 307
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? From Tulum you can take any combi or bus that goes towards Playa del Carmen, and from Playa in reverse. The driver leaves you on the road, you must walk a few meters to the town, maximum 1 kilometer.
WHAT TO BRING?Light and light clothes, hat, insect repellent, sunscreen (use it after bathing), closed and comfortable shoes to protect you from insect bites, some water always goes well. The swimsuit and a towel or pareo to dry after the bath. It is a good option to wear a diving mask to better appreciate the place.
THE LAW OF THE GOOD CENOTERO: To avoid contaminating the delicate water of the cenotes, do not use body creams, or protectors, or repellents before entering them. Do not hang from the roots of the trees or touch the stalactites or do any other idiocy that damages the place.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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