Xpu-Ha has awesome snorkeling with sand that’s as soft as powder. It’s a public beach with all of the tourist amenities including bars, restaurants, and shops. Despite this development, it does not have the overcrowding and touristy feel of some of the beaches of the mega resorts. Xpu-Ha is very laid back and has a more local feel about it.
For the best snorkeling, go in the morning before the afternoon breezes pick up. Just enter the water wherever you see the dark rock/coral formations in the water. Be sure to stay out of the boat lanes which are marked with rope and buoys. There is a dive shop on the beach but the traffic from watercraft wasn’t bad at all when we were there.
Xpu-Ha is off of hwy 307, Km marker 265, south of Puerto Adventuras and north of Akumal. Look for signs that say “La Playa Xpu-Ha.” Although some signs mention a “use” fee, this only refers to chairs, palpas, and amenities. Public beaches are free in Mexico. For resort markers, Xpu-Ha is just south of Barcelo and the Catolonia Royal Tulum is located on this beach.