The 5 Best Overwater Bungalows In Mexico

Last Updated: May 7th, 2024

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Staying in an overwater bungalow has become the epitome of a tropical holiday. After all, is there anything better than the idea of waking up and jumping into the inviting waters of the ocean directly from your back deck?

Unfortunately, despite being an internationally famous tropical destination and having hundreds of resorts scattered throughout its coastal regions, Mexico features only one accommodation that offers the traditional overwater bungalow experience.

With that said, there are four other resort properties that offer overwater accommodations, although they do feature a little flair that differentiates them from the traditional lodging style. Luckily, Mexico is also home to several beachfront resorts that, while they don’t offer overwater accommodation, do promise the same tropical getaway feel.

The 5 Best Overwater Bungalows in Mexico (+ 5 Great Beachfront Alternatives)

I have created this list of the five best overwater bungalows in Mexico, along with five great beachfront alternatives to help you plan the tropical getaway that you have always dreamed of.

1. Palafitos Overwater Bungalows El Dorado Maroma – Playa del Carmen

The Only Traditional Overwater Bungalows in Mexico

Palafitos Overwater Bungalows El Dorado Maroma – Adults Only Image by:

Opened in 2016, the Palafitos El Dorado Maroma in Playa del Carmen was the first overwater bungalow resort to bless the beautiful Caribbean shores of Mexico. And, after nearly a decade, they remain one of the best accommodations for enjoying a luxury stay on the water.

Set along a secluded stretch of coastline just north of the main Playa del Carmen town area, Palafitos El Dorado Maroma is a collection of 30 beautifully designed stilt-bound villas that provide the traditional overwater bungalow experience.

Promising Caribbean vibes, each bungalow features tropical stylings that accentuate the natural beauty of the region while boasting exclusive luxury amenities that include private infinity pools, direct access to the ocean, spacious outdoor decks with lounge chairs and shower, and glass bottom floors that serve as a window into the region’s vibrant aquatic world.

The Palafitos completes its tropical bliss with its all-inclusive packages, which feature unlimited dining and drinks, six onsite restaurants, and five bars. All guests also enjoy 24-hour butler service and access to a wide variety of recreational facilities, including the Naay Spa, tennis courts, a fitness center, and nightly entertainment.


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2. Banyan Tree Mayakoba – Playa del Carmen

Isolated Tropical Haven with Lagoon Suites

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Banyan Tree Mayakoba Image by:

The overwater bungalows at Banyan Tree Mayakoba are a little different than what you may be used to. For starters, they aren’t located atop the Caribbean or even on the resort’s beachfront.

Instead, Banyan Tree Mayakoba’s overwater lodging can be enjoyed within its seven Lagoon & Sunset Rooftop Villas found floating along the scenic lagoon lining the back of the resort property.

Surrounded by lush tropical landscapes, the overwater lagoon villas provide a natural oasis for enjoying elevated in-room comforts that include luxury bathrooms, spacious seating areas, and a rooftop terrace with a private pool and breathtaking views.

While Banyan Tree Mayakoba’s overwater bungalows are limited, the property also boasts plenty of other lodging options, including some breathtaking beachfront villas.

Although they don’t offer the overwater experience, these luxury villas make for a great alternative and provide easy access to the beach and other onsite facilities, that include nine onsite restaurants and bars, a full-service spa, and two outdoor pools.


Book here!

Suggested Reading: The Best Dreams Resort In Mexico

3. Rosewood Mayakoba – Playa del Carmen

Luxury Lagoon Bound Suites Surrounded by Mangrove Jungles

Rosewood Mayakoba – Playa del Carmen Image by:

Like the Banyan Tree Resort, Rosewood Mayakoba offers overwater bungalows with a bit of a twist. Unlike the traditional water huts we have come to expect from the accommodation style, the over-water lodgings at Rosewood Mayakoba are luxurious modern villas.

Surrounded by lush mangrove forests, Rosewood Mayakoba is a natural sanctuary just a short drive from Playa del Carmen’s main town area and promises plenty of outdoor beauty within its tropical environments.

The resort features several accommodation options ranging from beachfront villas to premium private suites. However, those looking for the elevated overwater bungalow experience can book one of the 18 Deluxe Lagoon Suites.

Found along the property’s mangrove lagoons, these lavish water-bound villas are equipped with top-of-the-line amenities, including a heated plunge pool, outdoor rain shower, and private sundeck. What’s more is that each overwater bungalow comes with a  private 24-hour personal butler.

Whether staying in the overwater bungalows or one of the resort’s other great accommodation options, all guests receive access to the property’s other facilities, which include eight onsite restaurants and bars, a spa and wellness center, and a private beach area.


Book here!

4. Akalki Hotel y Centro Holístico – Bacalar

Rustic and Affordable Overwater Bungalows

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Akalki Hotel y Centro Holistico is home to the only overwater bungalows in Mexico outside of the tourist hub of Playa del Carmen. Set along the beautiful waters of Bacalar Lagoon, this up-and-coming holistic resort is the best spot in the country to enjoy the overwater experience at affordable nightly rates.

Akalki Hotel promises a serene setting for enjoying the natural environment of the lagoon. While they don’t feature the same lavish touches of the more expensive options on this list, Akalki’s Hotels overwater bungalows promise a more traditional experience of rustic waterbound huts that allow a full immersion into the quiet rejuvenating atmosphere of the destination.

Along with being the cheapest overwater bungalows in Mexico, Akalki Hotel is a complete holistic wellness getaway, complete with an onsite restaurant where they use ingredients grown directly on the property and a traditional spa and wellness center where they offer a variety of local treatments and classes.


Book here!

5. Fairmont Mayakoba – Playa del Carmen

Semi-Overwater Villas with Rooftop Patio

Fairmont Mayakoba Image by:

The Fairmont Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen is the fifth and final resort in Mexico offering over-water bungalows. Although, in truth, its offerings are really only semi-overwater accommodations.

While the resort’s Signature Lagoon Casita is entered from the land, it opens up to a beautiful back patio that overhangs a lush, scenic inland lagoon.

While not a traditional overwater bungalow, it definitely gives off the same vibes and even adds a luxurious flair with its premium in-room comforts. Each of the hotel’s lagoon casitas features a spacious private balcony, ensuite marble bathrooms, and opulent soaking tubs.

The Fairmont Mayakoba also offers several other accommodation options, including private beachfront suites and villas, each boasting equally as lavish in-room amenities.

Regardless of your room choice, all hotel guests reap the benefits of the complex’s onsite facilities, including eight onsite restaurants and bars, a spa and wellness center, and a private beach area.

Golf-enthusiasts will also be happy to know that the hotel property is located next to the 18 hole El Camaleon Golf Course.


Book here!

5 Great Beachfront Alternatives

6. Mahekal Beach Front Resort & Spa – Playa del Carmen

Tropical Coastal Resort with Beach House Suites

Mahekal Beach Front Resort & Spa Image by:

While the rest of the resorts and hotels on this list don’t feature any overwater bungalows, they do offer some spectacular beachfront villas and lodgings that place guests just steps from the inviting waters of the Caribbean, including the Mahekal Beach Front Resort & Spa.

Located just a short walk from the popular 5th avenue, Mahekal Beach Front Resort manages to provide a quiet and relaxing oasis from within the heart of Playa del Carmen. The property features several accommodation options, but I suggest booking one of the Beach House rooms for an experience most similar to staying in an overwater bungalow.

There are two types of Beach House rooms at the resort. The Beach House King Plunge Pool occupies the building’s first floor and has elevated comforts that include a private pool. Meanwhile, the Beach House King Palapa is found on the second floor, and while it doesn’t offer a private pool, it does have a higher sense of isolation for a romantic evening on its outdoor patio.


Book here!

7. Hotel Villas Flamingo – Holbox Island

Beach Bungalows on Tropical Offshore Island

Hotel Villas Flamingos Image by:

Set within the Yum Balam Natural Reserve on Holbox Island north of Cancun, Hotel Villas Flamingo may not feature any overwater bungalows, but it does promise the remote tropical setting feel that the accommodation form has become known for.

Set along a beautiful white sand beach on the outskirts of town, Hotel Villas Flamingo is a quiet oasis perfect for enjoying the traditional island vibes of the Caribbean while offering an extensive complex of facilities that include an onsite restaurant, two outdoor pools, and a water rental facility.

The best part of Hotel Villas Flamingo is that all units are just steps from the ocean, with most giving out directly to the beach itself. The resort’s bungalow arena provides perhaps the best overwater bungalow alternative and features a private interior pool, an outdoor shower, and a private terrace overlooking the beach.


Book here!

8. Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo – Cihuatlán

Luxury Resort Getaway with Beach and Cliffside Villas

Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, MĂ©xico Image by:

Set along Mexico’s Pacific Coast near Manzanillo, the Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo is perhaps the most luxurious alternative to staying at an overwater bungalow.

One of the biggest draws of an overwater bungalow is the luxury associated with it. And while the Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo doesn’t offer any water-bound lodging, the entire complex is all about lavish extravagance and offers some truly spectacular stays ranging from beachfront villas to cliffside suites.

Between the resort’s extensive list of facilities, remote cliffside location, and private beach, the Four Seasons rivals any of Mexico’s overwater hotels in terms of comfort, style, and unique accommodation experiences.


Book here!

9. Azulik – Tulum

Cliffside Treehouse Villas Over the Caribbean

Azulik Image by:

A famous resort popular amongst Hollywood A-listers, Azulik’s private villas and suites are technically overwater. However, instead of floating atop the Caribbean on stilts, they are found several feet above the ocean, clinging to the sides of a breathtaking tropical cliff.

Located in Tulum, Azulik brings the tropical isolation of overwater bungalows to a whole new level. To enhance the castaway experience of the stay, the hotel does not feature any phones, TVs, or electricity in most of its rooms.

While this isn’t for everybody, the lack of connectivity does allow guests to immerse in the natural setting on an unparalleled level.


Book here!

10. Banyan Tree Cabo Marques – Acapulco

Cliffside Luxury Villas with Pacific Ocean Views

Banyan Tree Cabo Marques Image by:

Like Azulik, the Banyan Tree Cabo Marques’ overwater villas don’t float atop the water but instead are perched along a coastal cliff several feet above the Pacific Ocean.

Despite not being a traditional overwater bungalow, the cliffside villas provide a sense of elevated majesty and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean from the resort’s location along the Parque Marques Bay.

Each of the resort’s units boasts premium in-room facilities that include private balconies with an infinity pool, luxury bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows promising surreal panoramic views.


Book here!

FAQs About Overwater Bungalows in Mexico


Does Mexico have any over-the-water bungalows?

There are only five resorts in Mexico with overwater accommodation options. However, there is only one resort that offers the traditional overwater bungalow experience – Palafitos Overwater Bungalows El Dorado Maroma.

Does Cancun have overwater bungalows?

There are no overwater bungalows in Cancun. The closest resorts offering these water-bound accommodations are found about an hour’s drive from the city in Playa del Carmen.

What is the most affordable overwater bungalow in Mexico?

Offering rustic huts along Bacalar Lagoon, Akalki Hotel y Centro is the most affordable overwater bungalows in Mexico. While it may not have the luxurious additions as the other resort complexes, it does feature nightly rates starting at about a quarter of their competitors’.

About The Author

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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Picture of Kurt Norris

Kurt Norris

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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