Q-Roo Paul’s Pick: Caleta Tankah in Tulum

Source: Q-Roo Paul

It has been awhile since I have added another hidden gem to the list of Qroo Pau’s picks. Well – cue the drumroll – the time has come yet again. Today we add Caleta Tankah to the list of worthy recipients.

What is it?

Caleta Tankah is a stunningly picturesque beach with a small inlet that is actually a fresh water spring (cenote). The next time that you cannot decide whether to go to a cenote or a beach, just head here.

There is another cenote on the property that is located just off the beach among some trees. It is worth seeing at least once, but it can’t compete with the one on the beach side.

Normally at this point in the article I would go into a lengthy explanation of how awesome a place is, but today I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.


Soft sandy beach with a great view



You can choose the warm water of the beach or the cool water of the cenote dumping into the caleta.



The caleta is constantly being fed by cool fresh water from underground



Beach chairs and umbrellas are already there for your enjoyment



The water inside the caleta is crystal clear

Where is it?

Caleta Tankah is located just north of Tulum.



How much does it cost?

The entrance fee is $100 pesos per person, which is a little steep compared to other beaches in the area. I suspect that is why it is rarely crowded.

What are the hours?

Open 7 days a week from 10:30 A.M. to 6 P.M.

Is there a restaurant there?

There is a small restaurant and bar at the location. The margaritas and daiquiris were very good and the beer was cold. The only two choices of beer on this date were Corona and Leon.

Today we shared the Baguette Tres Quesos which had Brie, Manchego and goat cheese. We had him throw on some Jamón Serrano for an extra $30 pesos. It came with fries and it was delicious.

We were almost done eating before we realized that neither of us had bothered to snap a picture of the dish prior to digging in. Sorry folks, maybe next time.


Don’t freak out. The prices are in pesos.

Let’s Wrap This Up

If you’re looking for a laid-back beach bar that reminds many people of what the Riviera Maya was like prior to the tourist invasion — look no further. This place is a rare gem where we will often seek refuge during the peak season. When everything else is packed, we can usually find an empty beach chair here.

If you are worried that this article will suddenly make everyone want to flock to this little-known Caribbean refuge, don’t be — we don’t have that many readers. Besides, we want to help support small businesses and the people who work at them.

Additional Note:

Today while visiting Caleta Tankah, we inadvertantly left my backpack — which contained my wallet — behind in the parking lot. We didn’t discover that is was missing until we were home and we immediately sped back to the scene. When we arrived, I saw a few visitors around the entrance but the backpack was gone.

When one of the employees saw us, she waved at us and held up the backpack. Nothing was missing and I gave her a reward for her honesty.

This is one of the many reasons why we love the Riviera Maya. The people here have a lot of integrity and they often go out of their way to help others — even strangers.

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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) is a former lieutenant from the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Florida. During his 25-year career, he received numerous commendations to include two of the agency's top honors: a Meritorious Service Medal and a Medal of Valor. In 2015, Paul retired and moved to Mexico with his wife. He now spends his days enjoying the Riviera Maya and blogging from the beach.

10 Comments on "Q-Roo Paul’s Pick: Caleta Tankah in Tulum"

  1. RICHARD G NEUBERT | September 19, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Reply

    Well, we know from living here for several years that there are indeed some hidden gems. We always try to keep them to ourselves for the sake of a little more intimacy while living in the Riviera Maya, for as long as we can. We do agree that the personnel are good and this is a nice location. Up until this past year or two, the access had been free but there was really only a worn location with no improvements at that time. Since they have added the bar and small food items, it has increased in value, in my opinion. We still want to try, for just a little while, to prevent modernization and overuse from some of the favorites we all try to quietly share. Please make sure that you are clear that there is limited actual ocean access, with the small access area fully surrounded by ironrock with its sharp edges and cold fresh water feed into this small bay. We do love it. Thanks for your interest in our, your, living area and how we can all benefit from this gorgeous area. We live in PUurto Aventuras and really love it here.

    • Hi Richard,

      Thanks for reading the blog. I am not revealing any secrets that are not already sites like Tripadvisor. There are some other true hidden gems that are not on Tripadvisor and those are not in the blog. The difference is that those places involve owners that want to keep them that way.

      In this case, the restaurant recently changed hands and they have made some major improvements. They want to get the word out and build business. I applaud their efforts and we try to help our neighbors in any way we can (we only live a few minutes from there). It is difficult for the “little guy” to compete against the huge corporations and we did our part to help a group of deserving individuals.

      I don’t agree that the beach access is limited. The area around the caleta is jagged rock, but the entrance to the caleta itself has soft sand. Besides that, the majority of the beach from the caleta to the point near the old hotel is also soft sand. It is a nice little rustic stretch of beach. We swim here regularly and rocks have never been an issue. Perhaps it has changed a bit since you were here with the passage of a few storms.

  2. Many years ago we stayed at a hotel in that area that was closed the following year (2008). It was called Maya Tankah I think. It was near Casa Cenote and was the most beautiful area! Is this beach nearby, and would you happen to know what ever happened to that property? Thanks for your page/blog, we are enjoying it very much!

  3. Sounds lovely! Will definitely visit there next trip. And what a great testament to the wonderful people of Mexico… the backpack was in tact!

  4. Back in 2003, we stayed at a little gem of a place called Blue Sky on Tankah beach, this has to be somewhere in the same area. We loved that area then, hopefully it hasn’t changed too much.

    • I am familiar with that area. As the crow flies the Caleta is 5 KM south of the Blue Sky. I like that area too, but it is a lot more developed.

  5. Beautiful article. I love happy endings! And beautiful pictures. Thank you!

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