Cancun is one of Mexico’s top destinations for many reasons. All of the components for a great beach vacation can be found in Cancun: tropical weather, luxury resorts, exciting nightlife, thrilling water sports, great food, tons of shopping and of course the beautiful Cancun beaches.
Situated at the northern point of the Riviera Maya, on the shores of the impossibly blue Caribbean Sea, Cancun has the white sand beaches that dreams are made of. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to read a book, a lively beach party or a day of water sports, Cancun has it all!
Here are a few favorites to get you dreaming of your Cancun beach vacation.
This is one of the most serene beaches in Cancun. Although the water can be a little choppy here, the beach is absolutely stunning and is a must visit.
Playa Delfines is located at the end of the tourist zone and because of this, there are not many hotels close by. Everywhere you turn you’re greeted by excellent views of stunning nature around you. To best enjoy these views you can use the convenient observation deck that is found on the beach.
Playa Delfines is a calm spot with chairs and umbrellas, and it’s a local favorite for those wanting to simply relax on the beach. There are also a lot of good quality amenities here, like public bathrooms, parking, and palapas. It is not the best choice for swimming, however, as the waters can be very rough but it is a good spot for surfing lessons.
Also, if you want to slightly change the scenery you can visit the nearby archaeological zone called El Rey. Here you’ll find a collection of Mayan ruins, which include dozens of buildings and a temple shaped like a pyramid.
Location: KM 20 at the end of the Hotel Zone. Easily reached by bus and there is also free parking.
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The tiny fishing village of Puerto Morelos is located just a 20 minute drive south of Cancun and is famous for its charm and chill vibe.
The beach in Puerto Morelos is completely undisturbed, and it’s almost the opposite of many other beaches around Cancun. It’s the ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling at the coral reef, as well as simply relaxing on the sand. This beach is a favorite of locals and visitors who want a quieter, laid-back atmosphere and is a great choice for families. Another highlight is the old leaning lighthouse which was almost knocked down by a hurricane in 1967.
There is not much for restaurants or bars along the beach but there are vendors selling drinks and fresh crevice. There’s also a beach club which rents chairs and sells drinks and there are plenty of restaurants located in the main square of the village and they can be reached within a couple of minutes’ walk.
Location: About half-way between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Take the R-1 bus line or collectivo to town of Puerto Morelos and then taxi (about 20 pesos) to the beach.
Playa Chac Mool
Playa Chac Mool is named after a mythical Mayan figure that can be seen in statue form all over the Yucatan. Its location, in the heart of the Hotel Zone. and the long stretch of white sand and turquoise Caribbean Sea makes it a favorite of visitors.
Close to the shore the water is shallow and calm making it a great swimming spot. However, further out the bottom drops quite quickly and there is a strong undertow so it’s recommended to not go too far out unless you are a very strong swimmer. Chac Mool beach is also a good place for water sports and beach activities and equipment like snorkel and dive gear can be easily rented.
There aren’t many services on the beach itself but it’s just steps from the Hotel Zone and all the lively restaurants, bars and shops.
Location: KM 10 in the Hotel Zone across from Senior Frogs.
Playa Tortugas is definitely one of the most popular beaches in the area. Not only because it’s a fantastic beach, but because it’s also where you can catch the ferry to Isla Mujeres.
This lively beach is quite small and can get crowded because of the ferry. That might not be a big deal to those that don’t mind crowds, but it could be a deal breaker for those that prefer a quieter beach.
There are plenty of services nearby such as convenience stores, bathrooms, parking and local restaurants. Tours and activities are widely available here, too, so you’ll easily find good deals on things like kayaking and diving. For the brave visitors there is also bungee jumping, but if you prefer calmer experiences, the waters are crystal clear and perfect for swimming.
Location: 8 KM from downtown Cancun. Best reached by bus or taxi but there is also some paid parking.
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What was once a sealed-off area in the Hotel Zone of Cancun, now is a very popular beach, especially with the locals. Ever since the public access to the beach has been restored, there have been restoration efforts put towards the beach.
Even though there is constant boat activity just off the beach, the waters remain calm. The serene, clear water makes Langosta beach a prefect spot for young families and not so strong swimmers.
Join the locals jumping off the pier, buy cold drinks from the vendors, set up a hammock or beach blanket and enjoy a more local beach experience. However, if you’re a fan of more adventurous activities, then you can sign up in the nearby windsurfing school.
Location: Boulevard Kukulkan, 6 KM from downtown Cancun. Best reached by bus or taxi.
This is just a few of the favorite beaches in Cancun. If you have the time and desire to travel further away from Cancun there are dozens more. One thing that pretty much all beaches in the Riviera Maya have in common is soft white sand and clear teal blue water which is why it is such a popular destination.
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Born in England, Sarah developed her wanderlust at a young age as she traveled around Europe with her parents. As a young adult she spent every penny she could on experiences as opposed to possessions. Eventually she found a way to earn a living doing what she loved: traveling, writing and capturing images of the wondrous world we live in. When not on the go Sarah enjoys time in her “sometimes home” of Vancouver.