Cancun beaches are the biggest highlights of this area of Mexico, which is often referred to as the Mayan Riviera or the Mexican Caribbean. Cancun is situated on the Yucatan Peninsula, which is renowned for its turquoise waters and cool sand. The fine white sand is made of tiny plankton fossils that are soft to the touch and cool even in the hot sun. These picturesque beaches run for miles and feature seemingly endless resorts, luxury hotels, restaurants, and lots of shopping and tourist activities. All of the beaches are open to the public, but you will have more difficulty simply walking onto the beaches that are specifically designated for particular hotels. Nonetheless, you will have no problem locating an excellent variety of Mexican beaches.
Bahia de Mujeres
There is a large hotel zone in Cancun, which is essentially a long stretch of coastline separated from the mainland by a series of lagoons. At the northernmost point of the hotel zone in Cancun you will find the lovely Bahia de Mujeres. This is a perfect beach destination for families with small children or people in general who wish to enjoy shallow waters and calm surf. The shallow waters extend out a good distance, creating great conditions for snorkeling and swimming. This is a popular place as well because of the wide variety of seafood and authentic Mexican restaurants, beach rental and surf shops, and bars. There are plenty of public facilities and lifeguards on duty, especially around the hotels.
Playa Ballenas is another one of the Cancun beaches where you will find not only gorgeous vistas of the sea, but also a range of public accommodations and features such as restaurants, souvenir shops nearby, and bars. It is situated in between Punta Nizuc and Punta Cancun in the hotel zone. You will want to monitor the warning flags in the area that indicate whether or not it is safe to swim in the choppy surf. There are not as many guards on patrol here, as there are not as many hotels in the immediate area, although there is a nice selection.
Playa Langosta is also a place well worth spending some time in the sun in Cancun. Located toward the middle of the north end of the hotel zone, Playa Langosta faces the Bahia de Mujeres and offers some of the very best conditions for swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing. This is also an alluring spot because of the fact that there is a dock that offers boat service to the Isla Mujeres and a variety of other tour itineraries. Lots of bars and restaurants can be located here as well and you do not have to worry about a lack of public facilities, lifeguards, or parking.
Playa Delfines is a nice option for people looking for a bit calmer and tranquil beach experience. The views are amazing and the sunbathing is private and relaxed. There are some places to sit down and relax but there are no other public facilities. This a nice place to take a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine or some ice cold beverages for a retreat from the normally crowded beaches of Cancun.
This beach is one of the best if you are traveling with small children as the water is shallow and the surf is gentle. The beach is found at 8.5 km in the Hotel Zone and is a little tricky to find so keep in mind that it is near the Fiesta Americana Coral Beach.
Playa Chac Mool
Playa Chac Mool has a great location near to Senor Frog’s at 10 km and has a lot of perks that make spending time on the beach even better, including changing rooms and places to grab a bite to eat. While the water is not deep here, the currents can be strong so be advised. A great deal of watersports are available here, too.
Another of the best Cancun beaches is Playa Tortugas, which is at kilometer 6.5 in the Hotel Zone and has a great array of things to do. The surf is perfect for watersports so you will find a number of these here, and there are also shuttles that offer tours to other areas of the city from a dock at this beach.