Cancun’s long, flat, powder-white beaches are some of the most revered in Mexico, if not the world. Whether you’re heading to the area’s Caribbean coast or bay beaches, here are the top choices for relaxation and fun in the sun, surf, and sand.
Generally speaking, the beaches on the Caribbean side of Cancun’s Hotel Zone have the most inviting water and the whitest sand, but there are bigger waves—and bigger crowds. The beaches on the bay side have calmer water and fewer crowds, but the water isn’t as crystal clear. Playa Delfines, on the Caribbean side, is one of Cancun’s largest beaches and has some of the area’s bluest water. Watersports, thatched-roof palapas, and vendors make this perfect beach a very popular spot.
Playa Chac Mool
There are no lounge chairs or umbrellas here, but it’s worth coming to the turquoise waters of Playa Chac Mool, on the Caribbean side of the Hotel Zone, for a great beach day without any massive crowds. This is considered to be one of the best public beaches in Cancun.
With small waves, a beachfront restaurant, and plenty of non-beach activities like shopping and music vendors, Playa Tortuga (on the bay side of Cancun’s Hotel Zone) is a fun place to spend an entire day. The beach itself isn’t very large, but makes for good people-watching.
With a playground and an outdoor shower where you can rinse off, Playa Langosta (on the Caribbean side) is a great beach for families with kids. To avoid the crowds, try going early in the morning. The large “Cancun” sign is a draw for photographers.