Top Beaches in Cancun Mexico

Cancun, on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is blessed with sunny weather more than 10 months out of the year, a casual and friendly lifestyle, and plenty of world-class beaches. The resort area is surrounded by water, on the Caribbean side and the lagoon side, getting visitors a wealth of bathing options. Our choices for the best beaches in Cancun are:

Playa Linda – Located near the ferry dock at the far west end of the Cancun resort area (km 4), this beach is popular with tourists staying in the downtown hotels as well as the off-hours restaurant and hotel workers. It’s located on the bay and therefore the waters are calmer than those of the seaside beaches. Facilities include a dive shop and several snack bars.

Playa Caracol – This beach stretches for about one mile in the heart of the hotel zone (km 6), fronting the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach and other luxury hotels. This beach is ideal for families with small children because of the shallow flat sandy seabed. It is also one of the most popular (and crowded) beaches along the strip. Facilities include multiple restaurants, nightclubs, and watersports vendors.

Playa Tortugas – Located just west of Playa Caracol (km 6), this beach named for the intrepid sea turtle, is less crowded than its neighbor. Tortugas is a good swimming beach and facilities include watersports vendors, restaurants, and bars. There’s also a dock with shuttles to Isla Mujeres and dive and snorkeling tours

Playa Chac-Mool – Named for the ubiquitous, reclining Mayan statue, this beach along the Caribbean Sea is located along the North/South Hotel Zone (km 10). It has a statue of its namesake at the entrance and this popular beach offers all of the amenities, including showers and picnic facilities.

Playa del Rey – One of the southern most beaches in the Cancun resort area (km 18), Playa del Rey is the most unspoiled and usually the least crowded. This is a good beach for swimming and relaxing–ideal for honeymooners.

Playa Langosta – Unlike most of the beaches in Cancun, Playa Langosta (literally “Lobster Beach”) is a cove beach. Located along the bay side of the resort area (km 5), this beach has a sports concession, a boat jetty for boat tours, shopping, and several restaurants.

Playa Gaviota – Another of the resort area’s pristine beaches, this white sand expanse, located on the Caribbean side near Punta Cancun (km 9) is good for relaxing, swimming, and water sports.

Playa San Miguelito – Another Caribbean seaside beach (km 16.5) in the Hotel Zone, San Miguelito is good for relaxing and swimming. There are also some interesting Mayan ruins located here.

Playa Marlin – Playa Marlin is located about halfway between Punta Cancun to the north and Punta Nizac to the south. This Caribbean beach offers a full range of amenities without being quite as crowded as the bayside beaches.

Punta Nizac – The southern tip of the Cancun peninsula, Punta Nizac is home to some of the more deluxe resort hotels, including the Ritz Carlton. This stretch of white sand has fewer amenities than the more crowded beaches in the heart of the hotel zone, but it’s peaceful and relaxing and ideal for swimming.

Luckily, it doesn’t really matter which beach you choose in Cancun. The entire are is drenched in the warm, Caribbean sun and the sand is light and flakey throughout.


Creative Commons License photo credit: Pablo Lancaster-Jones Photo

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