(Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico)
With many outstanding sandy beaches and superb dive spots, the coastline around Cancun is the city's main draw card. It is worth noting that under Mexican law, you are permitted to visit all of the beaches around Cancun.
However, in practice this is not always straightforward, since the only way to reach a number of beaches in Cancun is actually through the lobby of a hotel, especially around the Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera). In most cases, you will simply blend with the hotel guests and be permitted to walk through the lobby and onto the neighbouring beachfront.
The main beaches lie on the north-western side of Cancun and can be found on the left-hand side of the coastal road. This area of beaches include:
- Playa Las Perlas
- Playa Juventud
- Playa Linda
- Playa Langosta
- Playa Tortugas
- Playa Caracol
Beaches to the south of the Punta Cancun are as follows:
- Playa Gaviota Azul
- Playa Chac-Mool
- Playa Marlin
- Playa Ballenas
- Playa Delfines
The Playa Delfines is one of the only beaches in the Cancun area with its own parking spaces and is therefore extremely popular. However, the sand does tend to be a little coarser than that on the beaches on the northern side of Cancun, and much darker in colour. The Playa Delfines is a great family beach where many people come to fly a kite, with shops available nearby selling an array of colourful kites and beach accessories.
Many of Cancun's beaches are perfect for sunbathing, but not for swimming - even the most easterly beaches. Both the Playa Chac-Mool and the Playa Delfines are dangerous beaches where you should not attempt to swim, due to strong undercurrents. Colour coded beach signs indicate the safety as follows:
- Blue - safe conditions to swim
- Yellow - changeable, use caution and be sensible
- Red - unsafe and dangerous. Do not swim
Further Nearby Beaches
A number of additional beaches are close to Cancun and include beautiful sandy stretches often referred to as the 'Mayan Riviera'. Many good seafood restaurants are based here, along with a surprising number of yoga teachers. Nearby Playa del Carmen is also famous for its beaches and crystal clear, blue waters, and nudity is often permitted here.
The beaches of Playa del Carmen are just a short distance to the south of Cancun, where the scuba diving and snorkelling conditions are amongst the best in Mexico.